Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Violent Carjacking Conspiracy Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to his role in a violent carjacking ring that targeted Uber and Lyft drivers, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, between September and October 2021, Eric Harrell Knight, 20, along with others, engaged in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies, targeting Uber and Lyft drivers. As part of the scheme, members of the conspiracy lured victim-drivers to particular locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers. When the victim-drivers arrived, members of the conspiracy brandished firearms and demanded the cell phones and wallets of the victim-drivers. Members of the conspiracy forced the victim-drivers at gunpoint to unlock their cell phones and provide passcodes. The conspiracy members then transferred money, via Cash App or other applications, from the accounts of the victim-drivers to the accounts of members of the conspiracy. Members of the conspiracy then carjacked the victim-drivers at gunpoint. To intimidate and force compliance, members of the conspiracy struck, pistol whipped, and threatened to kill the victim-drivers.
Knight pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court before Judge Katherine M. Menendez to one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Minneapolis Police Department.
U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez are prosecuting the case.